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August 20, 2013


Whiskyfun

Tasting three surprising Craigellachie

Craigellachie is another name that was rarely seen until just one or two years ago and that becomes more easily available these days, thanks to the indies. In my experience, Craigellachie’s usually a fairly light malt.

Craigellachie 10 yo 2003/2013 (54.5%, Single Cask Collection, bourbon barrel, rum finish)

Craigellachie 10 yo 2003/2013 (54.5%, Single Cask Collection, bourbon barrel, rum finish) Four stars Colour: straw. Nose: indeed, it’s a rather light one that starts mainly on apple juice and a little vanilla. Wee touches of varnish as well but there’s no acetone or nail polish remover. Rather than that, there’s more white chocolate after a while, as well as baked pears and just a little cider. With water: swims very well! The chocolates remains there while the fruitiness became wider, so to speak. There are now also notes of peaches and melons, maybe a little ala Bruichladdich. Mouth (neat): ripe garden fruits and sweet vanilla, with a dash of white pepper. It’s powerful and pretty estery, not bubblegumy though. Nice fresh fruitiness. With water: very easy, sweet, fruity. A little muesli, maybe. Easy and very good. Finish: medium length, a notch grassier. More oranges in the aftertaste. Comments: simply a very lovely fruity young Speysider au naturel, with just the right amount of vanilla. Flawless. SGP:541 - 86 points.

Craigellachie 15 yo 1997/2013 (50%, Douglas Laing, Old Malt Cask, refill hogshead, 293 bottles)

Craigellachie 15 yo 1997/2013 (50%, Douglas Laing, Old Malt Cask, refill hogshead, 293 bottles) Four stars Colour: straw. Nose: this is a grassier one, instead of juice we have apple skins, fresh walnuts, then rather obvious notes of sunflower oil and green tea. A little menthol too. Pleasant. With water: a little fruitier. Baked apples and then more apricots. Apricot pie, even zwetscke plums. Mouth (neat): we’re closer to the 2003 but this one has more citrus this time. Oranges, apples, pears, maybe cherries, then a little more nutmeg and pepper. The refill hogshead was still quite active. With water: the oak became a little bigger but so did the oranges, so, all fine. Finish: medium length, fruity, citrusy, clean. Comments: same comments as regarding the 2003, we’re in similar territories. A little more citrus but also a little more oak, so it’s a tie. SGP:551 - 86 points.

Craigellachie-Glenlivet 18 yo 1994/2013 (54.4%, Cadenhead, small batch, 432 bottles)

Craigellachie-Glenlivet 18 yo 1994/2013 (54.4%, Cadenhead, small batch, 432 bottles) Five stars Colour: amber. Nose: the new series by Cadenhead is doing wonders again, this time with ‘incorporated OBE’ that blends a little metal polish, fino sherry, walnuts and dry tobacco. It’s very complex whisky, I’d have sworn to Vishnu this came from a 30 yo bottle, serious. Right an old black dumpy ;-). Also beautiful whiffs of shoe polish, engine oil and pu-erh tea. It’s all very tertiary, at just 18 years of age. It was a great cask, hope they’ve refilled it! With water: maybe not. There’s a faint vinegar coming out, whiffs of old wine barrel… But all that tends to go away, as usual. A little smoke now. Mouth (neat): wooah! Same impressions, same complexity, same bigness and same feeling of ‘great old bottle’. Various waxes and polishes, tobacco, leather, quinces, bergamots, Seville oranges, even touches of sugar cane, certainly a wee saltiness, more tobacco… This is impressive indeed. With water: even more of all that! Granted, water lets drying notes of cocoa powder come out, which is not obligatorily a good thing, and maybe quite some overinfused black tea too, but all that remains more than bearable. Finish: long, dry, waxy, phenolic. Comments: this is becoming a little embarrassing, all the new ‘black’ Cadenhead I could try so far (not all published yet) have been quite fantastic in my book. Let me swear to both Manco Capac and Alfred Barnard that I haven’t received one single penny from Cadenhead’s or any of their representatives (or any other bottlers or distillers by the way). Crikey, I shan’t give baddish scores just to look more ‘unbiased’, shall I? Now, regarding this little Craig', careful with water! SGP:462 - 90 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Craigellachie I've tasted so far

 

 

 
   

 

 

 

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